When the cold knocks at the door, the only thing we would like to do is to not answer and just lay down like a hibernating bear. To face the coldest season but in a cool way, here comes the men's knitwear. So, why don’t brighten up the winter days by wearing the particular inlays of Kenzo’s pullovers or showing off more eclectic patterns such as Prada's sweaters? For the more classic souls instead, Fedeli men's cardigans peep out, flanked by other more streetwear models such as those by Balenciaga. In conclusion, any sweater will always find a way to get us out of the "plaid and Netflix" mode.
But when was the men's knitwear born?
Its first traces can be identified since the Neolithic, when man, still not having the knowledge of knitting, had to strive and cross threads of natural fibers with his fingers, to create what we could define as the ancestors of our dear sweaters.
A trend that continued to persist over the centuries, among the Romans and the Egyptians who, with the same techniques, created models such as priestly robes and jumpers for gladiators; garments, however, still far from the soft cardigans by Dolce and Gabbana or Jacquemus that we all know.
Similarly, in the Renaissance, knitting led to the production of garments of remarkable workmanship, from gloves to vests with precious inlays, but conceived for a limited range of "customers": the nobility.
Indeed, a luxury fashion, which certainly would not have foreseen practicality like the one we find in the Stone Island sweaters which, thanks to innovative and technical fabrics, have the power to keep anyone warm.
The first example of a men's knitwear, as we know it today, occurred in the Canal Islands between England and France where fishermen, to protect themselves from the weather, wore shirts handmade by their dear wives. Each single piece sported the characteristic embroideries of their village that identified them: a bit like today, the patterns of Etro or Versace pullovers characterize not only the look of the modern man, but become real trademarks.
However, until the early twentieth century, men's knitwear remained limited to certain work or social contexts, without being able to land in the everyday men's wardrobe.
This was partly remedied by the Prince of Wales Edward VIII who, in 1921, wore a Fair Isle jumper in public, causing quite a stir.
Still wearing sweaters and socks with the same pattern, eager to promote British products, he unleashed, like an influencer, a real craze for the Fair Isle, thus bringing the crew neck and V-neck sweaters equipped with this type of plot, to become fundamental main characters of the wardrobe of all men, embracing any social class.
Exactly a century later, this fashion is back in vogue albeit in a revisited way, for example, through Jil Sander’s sweaters.
In the 1950s, on the other hand, Vogue, in its article, mentioned the Aran sweaters, of Irish production and the effect was immediate: Ireland began to market them and export them all over the world up to today's proposals in the Ralph Lauren men's knitwear collections .
From here until the '70s, many movie and rock stars such as Mick Jagger, Michael Caine, Steve McQueen, Cary Grant showed off all sorts of varieties of men's shirts, consolidating their place in the Olympus of fashion, as the garment casual-cool for the style-conscious man.
And from a piece of clothing that protected sailors in the sea, it has now become a fundamental piece in men's fashion, which still does not fail to perform its original function: to warm the wearer.
In any shape or color, whether it's the Saint Laurent men’s high neck jumpers or Balmain v-neck sweaters, the men's knitwear will help anyone who wants to stay impeccable, between a business conference or a soirée, at any time of the day. .
So why limit yourself to just one piece? Every man can play with the various models, patterns and colors, for example with the classic Giorgio Armani crewneck pullovers, the comfortable Fendi turtlenecks or with the timeless evergreen that has conquered the catwalks and streets of the capitals for decades: the cardigan by Gucci, now the cornerstone of every collection of the Maison.
And then let's face it, no one could do without it: winter would not be the same without our warm friends made of wool and buttons.
This men's knitwear garment, the combination of a jacket and a pullover, is an undeniable versatile cornerstone of men's fashion, with a deliberately vintage character: abundant, apparently worn, as if it had come out of an old trunk still giving us lessons in style.
Left open or worn closed it doesn't matter, the most popular men's cardigans are the cocoon, oversized and enveloping ones like those worn by David Beckham or Brad Pitt.
Canneté in relief, shawl lapels, contrasting borders, graphic profiles, the wefts intertwine giving life to material finishes and three-dimensional games.
And if the classic winter colors have always been favored for men's knitwear, such as burnt colors and the eternal blues and grays, why not revolutionize?
After all, if something needs to be done, it's better to do it right. And therefore we give the green light to every form of fantasy and color, from the most flamboyant to the most unlikely such as the Off-White pullovers with fringes and tears, which make this garment a declaration of intent, which manages to make space even among millennials, of which an undisputed spokesperson is certainly Harry Styles who, wearing the JW Anderson’s cardigan with a patchwork print, has brought back to the fore that vintage style that makes the knitted garment an essential piece.
And between the catwalks, as on the street, there is a total revolution, for example with Philipp Plein's cardigans that are offered totally frayed, worn and with salt and pepper yarns, or with the frayed ones and whimsical prints by Alanui.
Another essential member of the men's knitwear family that will be our ally in defeating winter with style strokes is undoubtedly the v-neck sweater. Whether she is worn alone or under a blazer, she will keep warm without cluttering those who want to feel elegant and comfortable at the same time.
From the purely British style of Burberry's v-neck sweaters to the logo patterns of Valentino men's pullovers, this garment allows us to range from the more formal style with shirt and tie to the more casual chic one, where they meet the classic white t-shirts .
Last, but not least, another character from our autumn adventures is men’s turtleneck knitwear. Romantic and refined, it is the most loved line of garments even by those who fear the cold the most: thanks to him our neck is safe, with no need for scarves.
This model begins to hit the fashion scene in the 1920s through playwright Noel Coward. Becoming popular especially among radical academics like Steven Hawking, musicians like the Beatles, intellectuals like Steve Jobs and creative types like Andy Warhol, the turtleneck becomes not only the staple of the male wardrobe, but a real status symbol.
The turtleneck sweater has made its own way and has been revisited over the time, through designers who have modernized it according to the various trends, making it a multifaceted garment of men's knitwear.
From the geometric shapes of the Moncler sweaters to those of Brunello Cucinelli, a symbol of timeless elegance with its colorful hues and its minimal line, the turtleneck sweater is always the best pass par tout in any situation, to amaze with a bold and trendy look.
In short, it is now clear, the cold will knock on our door and spoiler alert: the time to go out will come.
So the only thing left to do is dive into the warm world of men's knitwear, find our favorite sweater, wear it and go out and fight it with style.